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Brush Fire West Of Palomar Mountain Contained

A fast-moving brush fire spread over brushy open terrain west of Palomar Mountain this afternoon, blackening scores of acres and prompting residential evacuations but causing no structural damage or injuries.

The blaze erupted for unknown reasons about 3:30 p.m. near the intersection of State Route 76 and Magee Road, several miles east of Pala Casino, according to Cal Fire.

The flames spread rapidly toward the east over flat terrain, heading toward a ranch roughly a mile away, said fire engineer Mike Mohler, a spokesman for the state agency.

As ground and airborne crews began attacking the blaze, authorities shut down SR-76 near the spot where it had erupted and cleared residents out of 10 homes in the area.

As of 5 p.m., the burn area had grown to roughly 75 acres, Mohler said. By then, personnel aboard 30 engines, four water trucks, four air tankers and four helicopters were making good progress in halting the spread of the flames, Mohler said.

Crews had the blaze fully contained at an an estimated 106 acres acres by 6 p.m., according to Cal Fire. The personnel were expected to remain at the scene, dousing hot spots, for several more hours.

Earlier in the afternoon, another brush fire scorched about five open acres alongside Highway 76 in the Bonsall area, east of Oceanside.

The causes of both blazes were under investigation.

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